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God's Blessing our GCS Students' Academic Achievement

June 20, 2018
By John Morrison

Over my thirty-eight year tenure with Grace Christian School, I have been repeatedly amazed as I have seen God’s faithfulness in blessing our students with consistently strong achievement test scores.  This past year was no exception, as evidenced by the above chart, which reports the core composite score for each grade (eleventh and twelfth grades take the PSAT and SAT college entrance tests. In a recent blog, I reported on our GCS SAT’s being higher than the seven local public high school results.).  

The above composite percentiles are simply the average of each core academic discipline tested (language arts and mathematics).  Using the ninth grade as an example, the composite percentile of 90 means that this class scored better than 90% of all other ninth grade classes from schools across America who took this same test.  

What makes these scores for all our GCS grades significant is that they have scored well above the “average,” and without exception.  While our students are certainly special, they are also “typical’ in their abilities compared to students across America. Yet, they have achieved these strong outcomes!

Over the years, when considering our scores, I have been reminded of Daniel and his three friends,  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. As they purposed to serve God, “God gave them wisdom in every branch of literature and wisdom …” (Daniel 1:17).  I believe this verse reflects how, as we honor Christ in our children’s education, He will add His blessing to their learning, even helping them to achieve beyond their natural abilities.  I think this is the case for GCS and reflects another reason why our children should receive a Christ-centered education.

These scores also reflect strong parental support and involvement with their children.

And, most certainly, these test results underscore the wonderful job our teachers are doing in instructing our students,  as well as our well-rounded curricula.

James Montoya, a vice-president with the Psychological Corporation, which administers the SAT (college boards),  emphasizes that the best preparation for higher education and the work world, is not a great diversity of courses,  but a focus on mastery of core academics, including language arts, math, science and social studies. Bigger and more is not necessarily better in this context; rather, mastery of fundamentals is vital. Or, as C. S. Lewis observed, “We ought to teach far fewer courses far better!”  This, indeed, is the philosophy of GCS.

We praise God and are thankful for these Iowa Assessment results.  Well-done, students, staff and parents!

(The more detailed and individual student scores will be released to parents at the  beginning of the coming school year.)

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